Satellite observations of energy-banded ions during large geomagnetic storms: Event studies, statistics, and comparisons to source models

C. A. Colpitts, C. A. Cattell, J. U. Kozyra, M. F. Thomsen, B. Lavraud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Energy-banded ions from tens to ten thousands of eV are observed in the low-latitude auroral and subauroral zones during every large (minimum Dst < −150 nT) geomagnetic storm encountered by the FAST satellite. The banded ions persist for many FAST orbits, lasting up to 12 h, in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The energy-banded ions often have more than six distinct bands, and the O+, He+, and H+ bands are often observed at the same energies. The bands are extensive in latitude (~50–75° on the dayside, often extending to 45°) and magnetic local time, covering all magnetic local time over the data set of storms. The distributions are peaked in the perpendicular direction at the altitudes of the FAST satellite (~350–4175 km), although in some cases the precipitating component dominates for the lowest energy bands. At the same time, for some of the events studied in detail, long-lasting intervals of field-aligned energy dispersed ions from ~100 eV to 40 keV are seen in Los Alamos National Laboratory geosynchronous observations, primarily on the dayside and after magnetosheath encounters (i.e., highly compressed magnetosphere). We present both case and statistical studies of the banded ions. These bands are a new phenomenon associated with all large storms, which are distinctly different from other banded populations, and are not readily interpreted using previous models for particle sources, transport, and loss. The energy-banded ions are an energetically important component of the inner magnetosphere during the most intense magnetic storms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6353-6377
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume121
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Keywords

  • banded
  • geomagnetic
  • ions
  • satellite
  • storms

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